Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to use 'bring' and 'fetch' correctly

In my earlier post, I discussed how to use 'borrow' and 'lend' correctly. In this post, I will guide readers on the correct usage of 'bring' and 'fetch'.

Remember these points when you use 'bring' and 'fetch':

1 'bring' means 'to take something from our place (near) to somewhere far away (far).'

2 'fetch' means 'to take something from far to our place (near).'

Based on the above, we can make sentences such as the following:

1 I bring my English dictionary to school every day.

2 Father usually asks me to fetch brother from his school which is 10 kilometres away from my house.

3 'Go and fetch me a pail of water from the tap there,' said Lisa to me.

4 'Bring your own drawing paper tomorrow,' said the Art teacher to her pupils before they went home.

The following sentences are considered wrong based on my earlier explanation.

1 "Fetch me a cup of tea," said John to his wife who is in the kitchen.


The use of 'fetch' is wrong here because John asks his wife to take a cup of tea (from where she is) to the sitting room (which is far from her). The action is from near to far and 'bring' should be used in place of 'fetch' in this case.

2 "Go and bring a fail from the cabinet there," said Mr Tan to his secretary.

Explanation: 'bring' is incorrectly used here because Mr Tan who is beside his secretary asks her to go from where she is to take a fail from the cabinet (which is far from her) to him (who is near her who he speaks). It is a case of 'from far to near'. Hence the correct verb to be used here is 'fetch'.

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